Benefits of Exercise For People With Parkinson’s Disease


It is well established the incorporating exercise in one’s life can has a crucial role in reducing the risk of obtaining a multitude of health conditions and can improve the overall quality of life. For people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise may be more important than you think. Research has shown that regular exercise not only improves quality of life in people living with PD but can also alleviate symptoms, reduce risk of falls, improve mobility and delay progression of the disease.

Benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that cause debilitating motor symptoms that can include the following: 

  • Tremors – This can be described as involuntary shakiness and can occur in multiple areas of the body
  • Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigid and stiff muscles – Rigidity can reduce joint range of motion and can make mobility difficult
  • Postural changes – Adopting a stooped posture is common with Parkinson’s disease. This can have an affect on balance and control whilst moving
  • Walking gait difficulties 

It is widely accepted that many adults living with PD can benefit from exercise training. Benefits of regular exercise can improve motor symptoms, reduce risk of falls, enhance effects of PD medication, reduce cardiovascular disease risk, improve walking gait, improve strength and ability to coordinate and perform activities of daily living (ADLs). 

So What’s the right exercise to do?

There is no one size fits all approach for people living with PD! The type of exercise you do will depend on the type of symptoms you experience and the goals you want to achieve. Having a routine that is consistent with the right training parameters that is relevant for you can help produce long term benefits. Here are some components that should be considered when partaking in an exercise program: 

Strength training- This will help improve the strength of your muscles and bones and can make lifting and carrying things easier.

Cardiovascular training– This aims to improve the overall function and capacity of the heart and lungs. 

Balance training – This can reduce risk of falling so performing ADLs can be easier

Stretching– This can help reduce muscle tightness 


What’s the next step !

Firstly, consult with your health specialist to receive a full evaluation of your symptoms prior to being referred to an exercise physiologist. 

Want to work with us? At Exercise For Life we are here to help you create a long term plan to manage life with Parkinson’s. 


Exercise For Life
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